South Korean stocks opened nearly flat Wednesday as investors took to the sidelines amid earnings reports and woes over aggressive rate hikes.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) had inched up 0.49 points, or 0.02 percent, to 2,250.44 points as of 9:20 a.m.
Auto and steel companies advanced, while chemical and financial shares declined.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics traded flat, and chip giant SK hynix lost 1.67 percent.
Top automaker Hyundai Motor added 0.3 percent, and steelmaker POSCO Holdings grew 0.2 percent.
Major chemical firm LG Chem went down 2.95 percent, while battery maker LG Energy Solutions increased 0.72 percent.
Kakao, the operator of the country's most popular mobile messenger app, KakaoTalk, gained 1.82 percent.
The Korean won was exchanging hands at 1,423.1 won against the US dollar as of 9:20 a.m., down 0.4 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)